(An interview with Pen & Mug founder Austin Schulenburg)
Q – Is the title supposed to say "Frequently Asked Questions"?
A – Nope. Most of these questions have not been asked all that frequently, but they have all been asked.
Q – Huh, okay I guess that makes sense. Can you tell me a bit about how Pen & Mug came to be?
A – The Pen & Mug brand was born in 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, raised briefly in Southern California (free-range, organic), and then rooted in Nashville, Tennessee. Pen & Mug International Headquarters has called Nashville home now for 3+ years.
Q – Who are you? What do you do? Why? How?
A – Whoa, slow down. Sounds like you skipped over these two nifty sections on the home page. Go check those out for the answers you seek.
Q – Okay, I’m back. So…the weather’s sure nice today, huh?
A – Stalling. That’s cool, catch your breath. You’ve got this.
Q – Diving deeper here: what would you say is the core mission of Pen & Mug?
A – If you distill it way down, we're in the business of turning ideas into tangible things – dreams into reality. We will be your ally in the growth of your business or brand, whether that means getting it off the ground or pushing it to the next level.
Q – Austin, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
A – I love to travel and try new restaurants, cafes and breweries. Being active and playing sports is another big one – I'll try any sport, and I'm good at one or two of them.
Q – What would your 'dream project' look like?
A – Ooh, tough one. A project related to one of the three interests above (food, sports, travel) would be a favorite for sure.
Q – You’re not getting out of this question that easily. Be more specific.
A – I’d love to work with a new restaurant on an initial brand design, (or an established restaurant on a rebrand), and then spin that out into a new website and a wide array of other integrated print and digital solutions – the whole enchilada. (Maybe it's an enchilada place?)
Q – Can you elaborate on what you mean by ‘integrated solutions’.
A – I’m talking about a full spread of visual creative work (responsive brand system, a new website, print and digital marketing materials, social media graphics, merchandise, illustration, etc.) all coming from one place (Pen & Mug), which means a final suite of finished products that are cohesive, efficient, and often less expensive when bundled together.
Q – And your team can provide all that?
A – Yes indeed! Pen & Mug is a small team with a lot of available services, and we can always bring in other collaborators from our wide network when we need more hands or additional skills to deliver you the best results.
Q – Are you willing to work with my team instead of gathering your own?
A – Of course! If you've already got a dream-team in mind and you think we're a good fit, we'd love to join the roster.
Q – Wow. That all sounds pretty awesome.
A – Thanks, but that is not a question.
Q – That all sounds pretty awesome?
A – Not better.
Q – Well that's kind of rude.
A – It's okay. I wrote this whole thing myself.
Q – You mean... you're... me?
A – Oh boy, we’re running out of gas.
Q – Sure are. Want to share a photo?
A – Here’s a nice one of Austin and Lexi Schulenburg at our booth for an artist showcase, dressed as baristas to play into the whole coffee shop gimmick :)